€110m scheme to help victims of institutional abuse

A scheme has been launched to assist people who, as children, experienced abuse in institutions in Ireland and who received awards either through the Residential Institutions Redress Board or in the courts.

Managed by a statutory body called Caranua, it is supported by a fund of €110m pledged by religious congregations.

“Caranua is committed to making a real difference to the lives of survivors,” said chief executive Mary Higgins.

“Many have suffered lifelong disadvantage as a result of their childhood experiences and most are now ageing. We cannot undo what was done but we can provide assistance to make their living conditions more comfortable and their lives fuller.”

The aim of the scheme is to bring about improvements in the living conditions and well-being of survivors. Caranua will provide an information and advice service, work with public bodies to ensure survivors have statutory entitlements, and will fund the provision of additional health, housing, and education services.

“This is not a cash payment. The scheme is in recognition that cash alone may not have addressed the needs and many of the issues of survivors of industrial abuse,” Ms Higgins said, adding that “what we hope to do is provide a service dedicated to them”.

Some 15,000 people are potentially eligible to benefit from Caranua. Of that, 8,500 are in Ireland, 5,000 in Britain, and the remainder live around the world, mainly in Canada, Australia, and the US. There is no deadline for applications.

-For more on the scheme, go to caranua.ie, or contact Caranua in Ireland on 1800 212477, or from the UK on 0808 2341303.

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